Grill with professionals |

Grill with professionals

Cassie Pence
Vail Daily/Shane Macomber Park Hyatt Executive Chef Pascal Coudouy serves up grilling tips at a free class in Beaver Creek

According to French chef Pascal Coudouy, grilling is the way to cook. It keeps your kitchen clean, it’s healthy and it’s quick.Coudouy shares grilling recipes and tips during complimentary classes on Bivans terrace at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek. The next session is Saturday, Aug. 14, and concentrates on smoked fish and flavored butter.Last Saturday’s lesson focused on vegetables and fruits. In conjunction with Bon Appetit magazine, the class includes complimentary wine and a goody bag complete with the recipes taught. The class is very interactive; guests feel comfortable enough to shout out questions while the chef is demonstrating. As the recipes are grilled, waiters serve petite samples to the participating audience.”You can do so many different things with vegetables on the grill,” Coudouy said.

Coudouy began with portabello mushrooms. Removing the stem and peeling the outside, Coudouy grilled the mushrooms gills up for 10 minutes. Then, he took the portabello off the grill and scooped out the gill side.”This part is filled with water and is bitter. You need to take out the inside,” Coudouy said.He then drizzled the mushroom with oil and stuffed it with prosciutto, chopped basil and fresh mozzarella and placed it back on the grill until the mozzarella was melted.The recipes Coudouy shares are simple enough to digest from demonstration. Together with his eccentric mustache and dry wit, Coudoy is a regular comedian, mustering laughter from the entire crowd.

The only non-vegetable centric dish he illustrated was grilled salmon fillets with a mustard glaze.”Anytime you cook fish, you must make sure your grill is clean, or it is a disaster,” Coudouy said. “The flavor is much better when you place the fish right on the grill.”Coudouy placed the salmon flesh-side down first, to ensure the perfection of grill marks when you flip the fish. If the fish is sticking, Coudouy said, the grill is not hot enough. He then brushed the salmon with a mustard glaze.”I like glazing because you can really do just the right amount,” Coudouy answered when asked if he preferred glazing or marinating.

Grilling fruit was the finale. Slicing pineapple and peaches large enough not to slip through the grates, Coudouy rolled the pieces in brown sugar and placed them directly on the grill. He then boiled balsamic vinegar until reduced by half, creating a syrup, to serve with the fruit.”The balsamic vinegar is a nice acidic contrast with the fruits’ sugar,” Coudouy said.He removed a peach from the grill, squeezed and showed the audience how water should drip out from the fruit.”When you have water coming out, they are good to go,” Coudouy said.

After the grilling lesson, Bivans Restaurant offers a three course fixed menu for $25 that samples the recipes and techniques Coudouy teaches.To make reservations for the next grilling class, call 949-1234 or visit

2 eggplants, 1 pound each, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices2 tablespoons coarse salt3 tablespoons olive oil2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano1/2 teaspoon black pepper3 cloves garlic, minced3 tablespoons parsley, choppedFeta cheeseSundried tomatoesPlace eggplant slices on a rack. Sprinkle both sides with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. (Little beads of bitter juices will be extracted.) Rinse eggplant under cool water and blot dry. Arrange slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle each side with oregano, black pepper, galric and parsley. Place on grill over medium heat. Cook each side for 5-8 minutes. Remove from grill and roll feta and sundried tomaotes into eggplant slices; secure with a toothpick. Place back on the grill until feta is slightly melted.

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